I'm Andrew Bales. I'm a motivated learner who's excited by a good challenge. As a PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati, I proposed a course of study with the School of Information Technology to address composition problems my students were facing in the classroom. With the help of local meetups and communities like Free Code Camp, I've developed and deployed projects with Ruby on Rails, Node, React, and gave back by creating local data projects and designing the ruby gem Hexit.

Since then, I've partnered with the Digital Media Collaborative to develop and teach Writing Fiction in the Digital Age. I've also worked with university library staff as a collections developer to produce a public-facing website to explore data from The Elliston Project.

Over the years, I've worked as a designer, an NPR radio researcher and host, an editor on a national fiction magazine, and founded a community arts magazine and an annual local music festival. I'm now exploring machine learning, VR, and AR, and can't wait to see all the ways that information, design, and learning collide!

American Lynching

NEH Award Winner

National Endowment for the Humanities

The Chronicling America API from the Library of Congress is combined with landmark lynching datasets from the past 100 years to offer insights into the history and narratives of lynching. Awarded second palce in National Endowment for the Humanities' challenge for the Library of Congress database Chronicling America API.

  • Chronicling America API
  • University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Project HAL
  • Hand-coded Tuskegee University Data


Litwolf.com is home to my literary data projects. The first project displays a ranking over time for hundreds of the top literary magazines featured in the Pushcart Prize.

  • Webscraping with Ruby & Nokogiri
  • React
  • Node.js & Express
  • MongoDB & Atlas

ProPublica API

I independetly created this custom API for ProPublica's "Spending at Trump Properties" data. It allows queries by date, property, spender, and other properties, returning infromation about political and taxpayer money spent at Trump Properties since the beginning of his presidential campaign.

  • Google Cloud - Endpoints
  • Chai Unit Testing
  • MongoDB
  • Swagger Documentation
  • Node.js / Express

Annotation Genius

Annotation Genius allows you to add Genius-style markup to web documents! Annotated sections are wrapped in spans with id's that correspond to a user-supplied JSON object. It's fast, simple, and comes ready with custom CSS.

  • Open Source Library
  • Backwards engineered existing service.

Cincinnati Police Data

Transforming Cincinnati Open Data into simple and interactive maps in order to educate the public about citizen complaints against the police department.

A custom SVG map I created in Illustrator helps residents locate their district.

  • Cincinnati Open Data — SODA API
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New York Times Best Sellers

Pairing the New York Times and Google Books APIs to create a visually engaging best sellers list. The returned ISBN numbers from the NYTimes best Sellersare used to query the Google Books API and return cover images that are paired with each listings.

The tutorial I created was published on Medium with Free Code Camp.

  • Googel Books API
  • New York Times API
  • Custom CSS
  • Documentation

Scrape -> JSON -> Google Maps

This project scrapes one city’s bridge data from a table on BridgeReports.com. It then uses links within that table to scrape associated pages. The resulting data is converted to JSON and used to populate a Google Map.

The tutorial I created was published on Medium with Free Code Camp.

  • Scraping with Nokogiri
  • Google Maps API
  • Documentation

Terminal Game With Ruby & CSV

This project comes out of a lecture I gave at Ada Developers Academy in Seattle. I created this terminal game with a CSV and a few gems to illustrate Ruby's CSV library methods and ther terminal's potential.

You can read more in this extended tutorial I published with Free Code Camp.

  • Ruby CSV Library & Gems
  • Terminal
  • Documentation

MIDI Collaboration

Midi Collaboration App from agbales on Vimeo.

Play music online with friends! Real-time MIDI collaboartion with USB controllers. Custom 80s themed UI for a throwback feel.

I created a tutorial on Medium that was published with Hackernoon:

  • Express.js
  • Socket.io
  • Web MIDI API
  • Heroku


Populating Google Maps with the rarely viewed data about roadkill pickup in Cincinnati.

Clicking the various icons reveals text from the report. You'll find it varies from matter of fact to oddly personal.

Animal icons custom made with Adobe Illustrator, some from tracings and others from scratch.

  • Cincinnati Open Data — SODA API
  • Custom Illustrator Icons
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Free Code Camp

I completed my Front End Development certification with Free Code Camp. That learning included a variety of projects including this Simon Game:

See the Pen Simon by Andrew Bales (@agbales) on CodePen.

Collections Developer

University of Cincinnati
Spring 2016 - Summer 2017

The University of Cincinnati has a stunning collection of recordings that for years haven't been particularly accessible. Each year since the 1950s, nationally renowed writers have visited campus to give reaadings. In fact, the poet Robert Frost was the first to visit campus.

I began the work of making these recordings more accessible. The files lived in a relatively hard to navigate collection in the university's digital archive. Instead, we wanted a new website that would be easily maintainable by student assistants.

For this, I customized a Wordpress page to appeal to both researchers and community members. I then wrote JavaScript and PHP scripts to transfer the bulk of links into their new pages.

  • Managed project from concept to implementation
  • Wrote JavaScript & PHP code to connect database to Wordpress posts
  • Coordinated with UC's Digital Content Stratgist
  • Took photos & video to supplement content

The Elliston Collection

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Digital Editor

American Short Fiction
2014 - Present

American Short Fiction is a nationally acclaimed fiction magazine based in Austin, Texas. It was founded by the University of Austin and is now run by a scrappy group of literary folk.

I joined ASF as a reader in 2014. During the first year I reviewed submissions and helped launch a podcast. I became the Digital Editor in 2015, taking on responsibilities with design, promotion, and further editorial review.

  • Created podcast & oversee monthly author recordings
  • Social media account managment
  • Read and make recommendations on ficiton submissions

American Short Fiction

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Wordpress Developer

Kansas Hospice & Palliative Care Organization
2015 - Present

I worked with KHPCO to create and host a new website. The Hospice organization helps coordinate and inform individual Hospice branches, so they needed a way to provide information to the general public and private members.

For this, I built minimal public-facing info pages and a quick login for members who frequntly visit for updates, policies, files, and newsletters.

  • Designed website based on organizational need
  • Created and mantained documents in private members section
  • Edited organizational copy


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Writing & Research

I've taught English courses on compostion, business, fiction writing, and digital forms at Wichita State University and the University of Cincinnati. I hold an MFA in fiction and am now a candidate in the English and Comparative Literature PhD program at the University of Cincinnati.

I love analysis and considering how design influences the way we read and learn.

I frequently publish my tech writing through publications like Free Code Camp and Hackernoon on Medium.